Published: May 28, 2019
Lots of activity across the block this week. Selling at Milestone Auctions for $10,500 was an Eighteenth Century Pennsylvania flintlock .45 caliber rifle featuring a tiger maple full stock, brass with silver inlays and federal eagle inlay on the cheek rest. Bidders sought a celebrity connection in a Rolex timepiece once owned by Marlon Brando, which sold for $49,200, over four times the pre-sale estimate. Contemporary art was abundant as Sam Francis’ (1923-1994) “Red and Blue” reached $212,500 at Freeman’s and Gerhard Richter’s 2003 screenprint with 41 colors, “Eis 2” sold for $50,000. Find more details on these and more in this week’s “Across The Block.”
WILLOUGHBY, OHIO – Milestone Auctions’ May 11 sale featured firearms and militaria from long-held collections, a virtual arsenal of antique and collector firearms that included several flintlock pistols, Kentucky and Pennsylvania rifles. Selling for $10,500 was an Eighteenth Century Pennsylvania flintlock .45 caliber rifle featuring a tiger maple full stock, brass with silver inlays and federal eagle inlay on the cheek rest. For information, 440-527-8060 or www.milestoneauctions.com.
COLUMBUS, OHIO – Early American fare was on offer at Garth’s on May 10-11 as the firm conducted its 13th annual Ohio Valley session. A soup plate from the Abraham Lincoln state service (shown) beat a $2/3,000 estimate to finish at $8,750. Ordered from E.V. Haughwout & Co, New York, circa 1861, the 7¾-inch diameter porcelain plate had a transfer American eagle and banner with hand painting, purple/magenta border (solferino color) and gilt rim. An Ohio sewer tile dog surprised by jumping a $600/900 expectation to bring $6,240. Attributed to George Bagnall, (circa 1860-1890), the dog sported his original ivory paint with gold-painted lock and stood 11 inches high. For information, 740-362-4771 or www.garths.com.
ALAMEDA, CALIF. – A large Chinese famille rose enameled porcelain Nine Peach moon flask sold for $30,000 at Michaan’s gallery auction on May 11. The well-potted body of flattened globular form with rounded sides rising to a cylindrical neck with a slightly flared rim was flanked on each side by two red-glazed handles, all supported on a rounded rectangular splayed foot. The exterior was decorated with nine fruiting peach branches and various bats in iron red, the base with Qianlong six-character seal mark. The 18¾-inch-high flask was property from a San Francisco, Calif., collection. For information, 510-740-0220 or www.michaans.com.
PHILADELPHIA, PENN. – Sam Francis’s (1923-1994) “Red and Blue,” 1958-59, an acrylic on paper mounted to canvas, realized $212,500 at Freeman’s auction of Modern and contemporary art on May 8. Executed between 1958 and 1959, “Red and Blue” was painted at a major turning point in Francis’ career. At this time, he began to explore the compositional power of the background itself, and the underutilized white color that had until then only acted as a support. Previously, Francis’ paintings were largely composed of single, variegated colors that filled the entire space of the canvas. For information, 267-414-1221 or www.freemansauction.com.
LOS ANGELES – On May 11, Kruse GWS Auctions, a Hollywood memorabilia auction house, set another world record when it sold Marlon Brando’s Rolex timepiece for $49,200, well above four times the original estimate. Brando’s personally owned stainless steel Rolex Datejust 31mm on a black leather strap, engraved on the back with “Vito” was given to the actor in 1973 for his Oscar win for the film “The Godfather.” The sale set the record for the most expensive stainless steel Rolex Datejust watch ever sold at auction. For information, 760-610-4175 or www.gwsauctions.com.
NEW YORK CITY – On May 14, Christie’s Art of Africa Masterworks auction achieved a total of $4,996,250. The sale sold 90 percent by value and 75 percent by lot, led by the Walschot-Schoffel Kifwebe mask, which realized $4,215,000. The lot sold after two minutes of competitive bidding between two telephone bidders, with the winning bid breaking the auction record. Collector and dealer Jeanne Walschot (1896-1977), was a champion of African art. She was a flamboyant, Nancy Cunard-like figure who carefully cultivated her avant-garde persona by being photographed beside her masks and wearing turbans and African jewelry. Through her collection, she drew the radical members of the French and Belgian intelligentsia into her orbit, most notably the Surrealists André Breton and Max Ernst. For information, 212-636-2000 or www.christies.com.
ROCKVILLE, MD. – An Indo-Portuguese partial gilt-ivory figure of Madonna with child did not achieve the top price in Weschler’s Auctioneer & Appraiser’s May 10 “Capital Collections” sale, but it was perhaps the lot that most exceeded expectations. Valued at $2/3,000, the Eighteenth or Nineteenth Century figure reached $26,400 and was the subject of global interest, with bidding on both the internet and the phone. A phone bidder ultimately prevailed. For information, 202-628-1281 or www.weschlers.com.
CLARENCE, N.Y. – An unmarked French doll wearing a wedding dress was a top seller at Schultz Auctioneers’ May 11 sale when it sold for $1,725. It sold to a buyer bidding at the sale against heavy competition. For information, 716-759-2260 or www.schultzauctioneers.net.
NEW YORK CITY – Swann Galleries’ contemporary art sale on May 16 brought a myriad of Modern and contemporary masters to market, including Agnes Martin, Jackson Pollock, Gerhard Richter and Andy Warhol. As expected, the sale was led by Gerhard Richter’s 2003 screen print with 41 colors, “Eis 2,” based on the same-titled oil from 1989, which sold for $50,000. Richter subverts the traditional practice of separating representational art from abstraction, producing a detailed under-painting before blurring and distorting the image. For information, 212-254-4710 or www.swanngalleries.com.
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